30 Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Computer Science 2021

By CSDH Staff
February 2021

Right now is the perfect time to begin that bachelor’s degree in computer science. But as the cost of college has continued to rise, many prospective students have become cost-conscious as they choose the colleges to which they will apply. One way to save money on a bachelor’s degree is to earn the degree online. Online degree programs lower the cost of college because students don’t have to move to a physical campus. This is particularly useful for working adults as they can continue to hold their job while earning their degrees.

To help individuals with their search for an online degree at a reasonable cost, we ranked by annual tuition the top 30 online bachelor’s degree programs in computer science.

For a school to be chosen for this affordability ranking, it had to be accredited regionally. It is considered the most reputable form of accreditation for higher education institutions. This type of accreditation is recognized by employers and should you choose to enroll in graduate studies in the future, undergraduate degrees from regionally accredited schools are recognized by graduate schools.

#1. Fort Hays State University

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Estimated Annual Tuition: $5,280 (in-state), $15,360 (out-of-state)

Fort Hays State University (FHSU) is a public institution located between Kansas City and Denver in the city of Hays, Kansas. In the past, Fort Hays has ranked as high as 15th in U.S. News and World Report’s rankings of online bachelor’s degrees. FHSU has an enrollment of over 8,500 online students.

Online Program Overview

The online Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Fort Hays State University teaches students the analytical and problem-solving skills needed to succeed in the technical workforce. Students learn about operating systems, programming languages, algorithm design, and software engineering. Along with the 39 semester credit hours for the computer science major, students choose from two emphasis tracks requiring 24 credit hours: Business and Networking. The Business track covers topics such as accounting and management information systems while the Networking track includes classes on internetworking and data communications.

#2. Florida State University

Estimated Annual Tuition: $5,656 (in-state), $18,786 (out-of-state)

Florida State University (FSU) is a public research university in Tallahassee, Florida. The school is classified in the category, Doctoral Universities: Highest Research Activity, by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. FSU was rated 58th in the school grouping National Universities by U.S. News and World Report (2021).

Online Program Overview

Student outcomes for the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from FSU include becoming skilled at programming in assembly language, C, and C++. FSU’s online bachelor’s programs were ranked 36th by U.S. News and World Report. The Princeton Review included the school in these lists: The Best 381 Colleges, Best Southeastern Colleges, Colleges That Pay You Back, and Best Alumni Network. Florida residents receive substantial savings in annual tuition.

#3. University of Florida

University of Florida-Top Computer Science Bachelor's Degrees

Estimated Annual Tuition: $6,381 (in-state), $28,659 (out-of-state)

The University of Florida, or UF, is a public research university located in Gainesville, Florida. The school is classified in the category, Doctoral Universities: Highest Research Activity, by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. UF has an undergraduate enrollment of more than 35,000 students.

Online Program Overview

The University of Florida offers a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science that teaches students about programming, data structures, operating systems, and other relevant subjects. The university was included in The Princeton Review’s Colleges That Create Futures, a list of 50 schools that help students apply their talents in practical ways to complement their coursework.

#4. Western Governors University

Estimated Annual Tuition: $6,450

Western Governors University is a private university based in Salt Lake City. Interestingly, the school utilizes a competency-based learning model, as opposed to the more traditional cohort-based model. This allows a student to move through their degree program at a pace that better reflects their individual abilities, time, and circumstance. Western Governors University online programs are accredited by all major regional and national accreditation bodies.

Online Program Overview

Western Governors University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. To complete the degree, students must work through a series of courses. These include Business of IT, Operating Systems for Programmers, and Scripting and Programming, to name but three. Most students transfer in their general education credits, then complete the BS degree though Western Governors University. This allow most students to complete the degree in just under one year’s time.

#5. California State University, Monterey Bay

Estimated Annual Tuition: $7,143 (in-state), $19,023 (out-of-state)

California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) tied for 25th in U.S. News and World Report’s rankings in the Regional Universities West category. It placed 8th among public institutions in the category. The school is located in the cities of Marina and Seaside in the state of California.

Online Program Overview

The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from CSUMB is a cohort-based degree completion program. The cohort size is only 25-35 students so students can receive more personalized teaching and advice from professors and advisors. Also, students join a video conference every week to interact with faculty and other students. The curriculum includes courses in internet programming, software design, and database systems. To graduate from the program, students must create a portfolio and complete a capstone project, which they can show to employers to improve job search prospects.

#6. University of Maryland Global Campus

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Estimated Annual Tuition: $7,560 (in-state), $12,336 (out-of-state)

University of Maryland Global Campus is one of the largest public universities in the United States. The institution specializes in providing online education to busy professionals.

Online Program Overview

UMGC’s Bachelor of Science in Computer Science consists of multiple programming classes to prepare students to succeed in the workplace. Students also take two classes (eight semester credit hours) of calculus. Through its Center for Innovation in Learning and Student Success, UMGC is active in researching and developing new learning models and methods to increase engagement within the online classroom and improve student outcomes.

#7. SUNY Empire State College

Estimated Annual Tuition: $7,605 (in-state), $17,515 (out of state)

Founded in 1971, SUNY (State University of New York System) Empire State College exists to serve working adults with nontraditional teaching methods including online courses. The school awards credits for relevant work experience to help students earn their degree faster and save money.

Online Program Overview

SUNY Empire State College’s bachelor’s degree in computer science consists of 124 semester credit hours. Major courses include Introduction to C++ Programming, Database Systems, and Social/Professional Issues in IT/IS. The school’s degrees are customizable, allowing you to take courses based on your career goals. Faculty mentors are available to guide you in designing a degree program that meets your needs. Upon graduation, online students receive the same diploma as on-campus students.

#8. Central Methodist University

Estimated Annual Tuition: $7,800

Founded in 1854, Central Methodist University, or CMU, is a private liberal arts school that offers online undergraduate degree completion programs in various majors. The institution tied for 31st in U.S. News and World Report’s rankings of regional colleges in the Midwest (2021).

Online Program Overview

CMU offers both an online Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degree in computer science. Students of either program will become competent in at least one programming language that is widely used by employers. Also, students are prepared for graduate programs in the field. Major classes include Database Systems and SQL, Computer Architecture and Operating Systems, and Data Structures and Algorithms. Students can also learn about web page design and game programming. CMU’s online courses take 8 or 16 weeks to complete. The tuition listed above is based on 30 units completed over the course of the academic year (at $260 per unit).

#9. Thomas Edison State University

Estimated Annual Tuition: $7,926 (in-state), $9,856 (out-of-state)

Thomas Edison State University (TESU) was established in 1972 in New Jersey to help nontraditional students earn a college education. In fact, the university caters only to adult students. TESU offers online classes in a variety of formats geared to different learning styles.

Online Program Overview

The Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science from Thomas Edison State University requires 120 semester hours to finish. Students can choose from elective courses such as Computer Information Systems, Artificial Intelligence, and UNIX. Students may be able to earn credit hours to fulfill course requirements by passing exams or submitting a relevant portfolio for assessment. Also, licenses, work experience, and military training may be applied as credit to the degree program.

#10. Lamar University

Estimated Annual Tuition: $8,494 (in-state), $18,622 (out-of-state)

Lamar University is a public research university operated by the state of Texas. The university is classified in the category, Doctoral Universities: Moderate Research Activity, by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Lamar is located in the city of Beaumont.

Online Program Overview

Lamar University’s Bachelor of Science in Computer Science requires 120 semester credit hours for graduation. The program covers a broad range of topics including programming, information systems, software engineering, networking, and algorithms. Through Lamar’s Division of Distance Learning, students take online classes in accelerated eight-week terms or traditional 15-week semester terms.

#11. Troy University

Estimated Annual Tuition: $8,908 (in-state), $16,708 (out-of-state)

Troy University is a public university founded in 1887 and located in Troy, Alabama. The school tied for 51st in U.S. News and World Report’s rankings of regional universities in the South. Among public institutions in the category, Troy University was rated 23rd.

Online Program Overview

Troy University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Applied Computer Science that teaches students how to develop software including games, smartphone apps, and web-based programs. The degree program prepares you to succeed in jobs such as system analyst and computer programmer. The requirements for the major are 12 three-credit courses. Students learn about data structures, databases, and operating systems. They can choose elective courses in networking, computer security, and business systems programming.

#12. Southern University and A&M College

Estimated Annual Tuition: $9,141 (in-state), $16,491 (out-of-state)

Southern University and A&M College (SU) is a historically black public college located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. U.S. News and Report gave the university a Tier 2 ranking and classified it in the category, Regional Universities South. SU is the flagship school of the Southern University System.

Online Program Overview

Students in SU’s Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree program can choose from exciting courses including Scientific Computing, Video Game Programming, and Introduction to Neural Networks. 120 semester hours are required for graduation. The instructors are involved in research in the field, which keeps them up to date with developments in the computer science industry. Students can interact with the faculty through email, chat, and discussion boards.

#13. Trident University International

Estimated Annual Tuition: $9,240

Trident University International (TUI) is a 100% online private for-profit institution focused on serving adult students. More than 90% of its undergraduate students are older than 24 years old. The school was founded in 1998 and has graduated over 28,000 alumni.

Online Program Overview

TUI’s Bachelor of Science in Computer Science is a 120 credit program that uses case studies based on real-life scenarios instead of traditional testing methods to teach students the various subjects. Core classes include Computer System Architecture, Human-Computer Interaction, and Advanced Programming Topics. Students can choose to add a cybersecurity concentration to their program by taking three four-credit courses about wireless hybrid networks, cryptography, and network security. TUI holds membership in Cyber Watch West, a government program designed to improve the state of cybersecurity.

#14. Dakota State University

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Estimated Annual Tuition: $9,536 (in-state), $12,606 (out-of-state)

In the category Regional Universities Midwest, Dakota State University (DSU) was ranked 91st by U.S. News and World Report (2021). Among public institutions in the category, DSU tied for 26th. The school is located in Madison, South Dakota, and was founded in 1881.

Online Program Overview

The faculty that teaches the Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from DSU brings a wealth of knowledge to the field. All the professors in the program have earned PhDs in computer science. Many DSU faculty bring a unique collaboration between online and on-campus students by assigning them projects that they work on together. Also, online classes are often held at the same time as their on-campus counterparts.

#15. Franklin University

Estimated Annual Tuition: $9,577

Founded in 1902, Franklin University is a private nonprofit university located in Columbus, Ohio. The school focuses on providing higher education programs to adult students. The average age of a Franklin student is in the early 30s, and all of Franklin’s degree programs can be earned online.

Online Program Overview

With practical classes that simulate real-world projects in the workplace, Franklin University’s Bachelor of Science in Computer Science prepares students for career success. Also, students in the program learn the theory behind foundational computer science concepts like object-oriented design, testing, and algorithms. The University provides flexible course scheduling. Students can take classes that last 6, 12, or 15 weeks and multiple start dates are available. Franklin’s total enrollment is close to 10,000 students. The majority of them work full-time while earning their degree.

#16. Southern New Hampshire University

Estimated Annual Tuition: $9,600

With over 60,000 online learners, Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) has one of the largest distance learning enrollments in the nation. SNHU is a private, nonprofit institution. U.S. News & World Report ranks Southern New Hampshire University the 75th best university in the North (2021).

Online Program Overview

Students in SNHU’s Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree program learn how to use in-demand programming languages like Python and C++ to create effective software. Also, they are exposed to real-world operating systems and development platforms to prepare them for career success. With short eight-week terms, SNHU provides flexible course scheduling. You can start the program soon without waiting months before your first course. Southern New Hampshire University ranked an impressive 1st place in U.S. News and World Report‘s ranking of the most innovative colleges and universities.

#17. Baker College

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Estimated Annual Tuition: $9,920

Baker College is the largest not-for-profit college in Michigan and one of the largest private colleges in the nation with close to 35,000 students. The institution is a vocational school and its administrators believe that getting a degree should result in a great career.

Online Program Overview

The Bachelor of Computer Science program from Baker College requires 195 quarter credit hours to complete. The major classes cover programming languages including SQL, C++, and C#. Also, students learn about unit testing, microprocessor electronics, and programming for mobile devices. Baker has an automatic acceptance policy for admissions. Specifically, this means you can be admitted into the school with just a high school diploma or GED certificate. In 2016, the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) awarded Baker with the OLC Quality Scorecard Exemplary Endorsement, which recognizes excellence in online education.

#18. Old Dominion University

Estimated Annual Tuition: $10,680 (in-state), $30,840 (out-of-state)

Old Dominion University is a public research university in Norfolk, Virginia. It received a ranking of 126th from U.S. News and World Report in the category Top Public Schools (2021). The University has graduated over 13,500 online students since it started offering online programs.

Online Program Overview

The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Old Dominion University emphasizes math and science to produce graduates that are able to make a strong impact in the workplace. Students in the program are prepared to work in industries such as database development and network administration. ODU offers over 100 online programs.

#19. Rasmussen College

Estimated Annual Tuition: $10,935

Rasmussen College is a private for-profit school. It is the first institution in higher education to become a Public Benefit Corporation (PBC). Under this corporate status, Rasmussen provides services that benefit the local communities where its campuses are located including matching companies with qualified employees.

Online Program Overview

Rasmussen’s Bachelor of Science in Computer Science is an accelerated degree completion program. To qualify for admission, students must have an accredited associate’s degree or successfully finish 60 semester credits hours (or 90 quarter hours) with a grade C or higher. The program contains courses on business intelligence, cloud computing, and web analytics. Students may specialize in Apple iOS or Universal Windows app development. Graduates from Rasmussen’s School of Technology have worked at reputable companies including Best Buy, Microsoft, Target Corporation, and Verizon Wireless.

#20. Park University

Estimated Annual Tuition: $11,190

Established in 1875, Park University is a private, nonprofit school that uses interactive courses to deliver its online programs. In the past, the school has placed as high as third in Washington Monthly’s rankings of four-year colleges for adult students. The publication gave Park high marks for its services to adult learners.

Online Program Overview

Park University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Information and Computer Science. Students learn about discrete math, programming fundamentals and concepts, and managing information systems in the core classes. The following specialty areas are available for study: computer science, software engineering, data management, and networking and security. These concentrations take between 23 to 28 credit hours to complete. To graduate from the program, students must complete at least 120 semester hours.

#21. University of Illinois at Springfield

Estimated Annual Tuition: $11,813 (in-state), $21,338 (out-of-state)

The University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS) is a public liberal arts school. The university tied for 31st place in U.S. News and World Report’s rankings of regional universities in the Midwest. Among public institutions in that category, UIS received a 4th place (tie) ranking (2021).

Online Program Overview

The online Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from UIS is a 120-credit hour degree program. Entry into the program requires two semesters of Java programming and a semester of calculus, discrete or finite math, and statistics. UIS offers online courses that meet these requirements for applicants that need them. Major courses cover relevant topics for the workplace including algorithms, software engineering, and computer organization.

#22. Regent University

Estimated Annual Tuition: $11,850

Regent University is a private, nonprofit, Christian institution in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The school is classified by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education as a doctoral university with moderate research activity. Regent’s online bachelor’s degrees received a top 40 ranking from U.S. News and World Report.

Online Program Overview

Regent University’s Bachelor of Science in Computer Science teaches students how to solve tough computer problems like those they may encounter in the workplace. The major consists of eight courses including Parallel and Distributive Programming, Ethics for Computer Science, and Mobile and Smart Computing. Also, students must take three classes on Calculus to fulfill the math requirements. Working professionals and adult students in the program usually take courses that last eight weeks.

#23. Limestone University

Estimated Annual Tuition: $13,230

Founded in 1845, Limestone University is a private liberal arts university in Gaffney, South Carolina. The school is a Christian non-denominational institution with a total enrollment of over 3,500 students including around 2,500 nontraditional students who take classes at night or online.

Online Program Overview

Limestone University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Computer Science through its Extended Campus. The degree program includes courses about imperative programming, networking fundamentals, and microcomputer applications. Students choose from four concentrations: Computer and Information System Security, Information Technology, Programming, and Web Development and Database. Courses run in eight-week terms with six terms in a year. Students can enroll in two courses each term to earn 36 semester credit hours for the year. 123 hours are required to graduate from the program.

#24. National University

Estimated Annual Tuition: $13,320

National University is a private, nonprofit university with headquarters in La Jolla, California. The university has several regional campuses throughout California, one campus in Nevada, and multiple locations in San Diego County. National enrolls 30,000 students yearly, and more than 150,000 alumni have graduated from its programs.

Online Program Overview

National University offers a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science that requires 180 quarter credit hours to complete. 70.5 of those hours must come from the school to graduate. The curriculum covers discrete structures, computer architecture, programming languages, database design, and other topics to prepare students for employment in the computer science industry.

#25. Concordia University, St. Paul

Estimated Annual Tuition: $13,440

Concordia University, St. Paul (CSP) is a private liberal arts institution. The school is a member of the Concordia University System, which is affiliated with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, a Christian denomination. CSP tied for 80th in U.S. News and World Report’s rankings of regional universities in the Midwest.

Online Program Overview

CSP’s Bachelor of Science in Computer Science is a 55 semester credit hour degree completion program that teaches students applicable skills in web design, object-oriented programming, server-side development, and database design. Courses last for seven weeks and 128 credits are required to complete the degree.

#26. Lakeland University

Estimated Annual Tuition: $13,950

Lakeland University is a private liberal arts university related to the United Church of Christ. Located in Plymouth, Wisconsin, the school has close to 3,500 students including 2,600 nontraditional students that take courses at night, on the weekend, and/or online.

Online Program Overview

For those who want to customize their online computer science degree, the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Lakeland is an option. Students in the program choose from three areas of emphasis: Information Systems, Software Design, and Computer Science. The first two concentrations include nine semester hours of electives while the Computer Science concentration consists of 27-28 hours, all of which are elective classes. The core courses cover relevant topics such as database fundamentals, database management, programming, and data structures. 120 semester credits are required for graduation.

#27. Regis University

Estimated Annual Tuition: $16,650

Regis University is a private nonprofit institution located in Denver, Colorado. The university is affiliated with the Jesuit religion order of the Roman Catholic church.

Online Program Overview

Regis University’s online Bachelor of Science in Computer Science is the only online computer science degree program accredited by ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology). ABET is one of most reputable accreditors of programs in computing and engineering. Upper-division major classes include Principles of Programming Languages, Computation Theory, and Software Engineering.

#28. Oregon State University

Estimated Annual Tuition: $16,695

Oregon State University, or OSU, is a public research university in Corvallis, Oregon. OSU is classified by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education as a doctoral university with the highest level of research activity. The school has an enrollment of over 25,000 undergraduates.

Online Program Overview

Through its School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, OSU offers a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science for individuals who already hold a bachelor’s degree. Sample course topics include data structures, software engineering, usability, and mobile development. 60 credit hours of major classes are required to graduate.

#29. Mercy College

Estimated Annual Tuition: $19,594

Formerly affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church, Mercy College is a nonsectarian, nonprofit, private, liberal arts institution in the state of New York. The college has campuses in Dobbs Ferry (main campus), Manhattan, Bronx, and Yorktown Heights. Mercy offers 40 online degree programs.

Online Program Overview

In the Bachelor of Science degree in the Computer Science program at Mercy College, students learn how to program in Java and C++, two programming languages that are widely used by employers. Also, students gain experience in team settings by working with their peers for a whole semester to complete a software project. The coursework requirements for the major include two classes in calculus, two in algorithms, two in software engineering, and an artificial intelligence class. 120 semester hours are required for graduation.

#30. Lewis University

Estimated Annual Tuition: $33,430

Located in Romeoville, Illinois, Lewis University is a private university affiliated with the Roman Catholic church. The school tied for 24th place in U.S. News and World Report’s ranking of regional universities in the Midwest (2021). Among that group of universities, Lewis was named a Best Value School by U.S. News.

Online Program Overview

Lewis University offers an accelerated Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science. The program teaches relevant skills like writing software in popular programming languages (such as JavaScript, Ruby, and Python), designing secure networks, and incorporating artificial intelligence in applications. Courses run for eight weeks, and class size is small to foster a solid learning environment. Students with prior programming experience may qualify for college credit through an evaluation process called Prior Learning Assessment.

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